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The Second Pope

digdigby Wrote: Mar 07, 2013 9:14 AM
Pope Benedict was not cut out to be a 'media darling'. He had to (and did) deal with shocking and heart-breaking scandals and corruptions and betrayals in the very heart of the church.

The wire services routinely refer to Benedict XVI, now the pope emeritus, as the first pontiff to abdicate in 800 years. But few of the news stories go into just who this earlier pope was, and why he chose to end his papacy. Which is understandable. The big story of 1294 is scarcely breaking news today. But it's a pity more attention isn't paid to the abdication of Celestine V, now St. Celestine, aka Celestino. Because history can prove instructive.

It's a cautionary tale, the story of why those 13th-century cardinals chose Celestine as pope, and why he chose to abdicate...